The Dharamkot Travel Guide | Himachal Pradesh, India
A Trip to Dharamkot – The Hippie Village
On the crest of a hill above McLeodGanj, Dharamkot is a quaint village, oozing the Hippie Vibes, and offering panoramic views of the Kangra Valley and the Dhauladhar ranges, making it one of the best places to get High on Himalayas during your One Month India Itinerary.
This small town of Dharamkot also has the Vipassana meditation centre, Dhamma Shikara, as well as the Tushita Meditation Centre which is a centre for the study and practice of Buddhism in the Tibetan Mahayana tradition.
This Hippie Village, in the state of Himachal Pradesh in North India, makes for a great place to escape the chaotic city life, and live the mountain life, getting High on Himalayas.
PS – You might want to combine a trip to Dharamkot with Bir Billing and Palampur as well. Bir – Billing, if you aren’t aware of, is the Paragliding Capital of India, and has become a Digital Nomad hotspot too. If you do have Bir – Billing on your travel itinerary, do check out this Bir – Billing Food Guide as well.
Another interesting add on experience in the region is experiencing the beauty of Kangra Valley by train. Not only is the route, a declared UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is also one of the most scenic train journeys in India.
Scroll down, and find all your answers about How To Reach Dharamkot? | What To Do in Dharamkot ? and even Where To Eat in Dharamkot?
How to Reach Dharamkot?
To reach Dharamkot, you first have to reach McLeodganj.
The best way to reach McLeodganj, is by bus. There are plenty of buses (both private and government) plying from cities like Delhi, Chandigarh, Shimla, quite frequently in the evenings.
Depending on your budget, you can get your ticket to McLeodganj from Delhi sorted in as less as INR 500, in the basic ST Buses, and can go up for as much as INR 1500+ for the premium Volvo buses. Simply head on to redBus and get your bus tickets sorted.
The buses usually leave in between 7 – 10 PM from Delhi, reaching Mcleodganj in the morning from 6:30 AM onwards.
The other option is by taking a flight and landing at the Dharamshala Airport, and then taking a taxi or bus to McLeodganj
Once you are at the McLeodganj bus stop, just ask around the taxi drivers to take you all the way to Upper Dharamkot. You shouldn’t be paying more than INR 200 per taxi.
Where to Stay in Dharamkot?
At The Bunker Hostel–A Unique 20+ bedded hostel located in an offbeat location in the mountains of Upper Dharamkot, the brain child of Ashish, Naihad and Ishan. They wanted to create a space, away from the city, in a beautiful location, surrounded by nature, and with plenty of break out spaces, for travellers to chill out and bond with each other.
And that is exactly what The Bunker Hostel is all about. Disconnecting with the world, and connecting with nature and the travellers around you!
The area surrounding The Bunker Hostel, has got many things to do, including hikes to waterfalls, or checking out the sunsets at Naddi, or exploring the hippie market of Dharamkot.
The reason why I introduced The Bunker Hostel was because, this beautiful home in the mountains, is going to be your base for your 3 Day or 5 Day Trip to Dharamkot.
What To Do In Dharamkot? – The 3 Day Dharamkot Itinerary
Day 1 – Check in at The Bunker Hostel | Hike to Secret Waterfall | Chill Out Scenes
Reach McLeodganj also known as Mini Tibet early in the morning by bus. Take a taxi from there for around INR 150 – 200 to reach your destination – The Bunker Hostel, located in a quaint location in Upper Dharamkot; in a matter of 15 – 20 minutes.
Once you’ve checked into your dorm, and relaxed, it’s time to head out for a 3-hour hike to a Secret Waterfall, which is apparently named as ‘No Name Waterfall’.
The hike starts from the hostel, with the first pit stop being the Gallu Devi temple, which is a 30-minute hike. Thereafter it’s a hike of another 2 hours of Ups and Downs, until you reach the secret waterfall. The destination in itself is such, that you can chill out for hours at a stretch.
Also, just FYI, there is a small tea shop as well, just near the waterfall, where you can get your fix of some pahaadi Maggi, Chai, and even Bread Omlete.
However, please carry a water bottle with you rather than purchasing one. There are plenty of places from where you can refill your bottle for free.
Plan your hike in such a way, that you start your hike back, after having some snacks or lunch and chilling out at the tea shop. Reach back to The Bunker Hostel by 5 ish in the evening, and just relax and rewind at The Bunker Hostel itself.
Once you are refreshed, hang out with other travelers near the Bonfire, or at the café on the first floor. And if you are lucky, you might have a musician amongst the travelers, and it will be a night to remember with unplugged sessions under the stars.
Day 2 – Exploring McLeodganj – Mini Tibet | Sunset at Naddi
This day is more about exploring the town of McLeodganj, aka Mini Tibet.
You can either take a taxi and reach McLeodganj, or you can reach McLeodganj on foot. I personally recommend heading out to McLeodganj on foot, as its just downhill. And on the way back, you can take an Auto or Taxi for around 100 – 200 INR.
The way down to Mcleodganj first passes through the hippie market of Dharamkot – which you can explore on Day 3 of this 3 Day Dharamkot Itinerary or on Day 5 of the 5 Day Dharamkot Trip.
The moment you reach the Main Square of McLeodganj, you’ll be welcomed by constant honking of horns, people everywhere, and so much of noise that you’ll start missing The Bunker Hostel and Dharamkot, and will start appreciating the beauty of staying in a quaint area.
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Missing #TheBunkerLife at @thebunkerhostel * * It's only been a day that I am back in Delhi, and all I can think of about is the amazing weekend that went by, which was filled with loads of amazing experiences powered by @thebunkerhostel (a home away from home in the Mountains) and @stayonskill ( The best community bringing amazing skilled travellers under one roof ) * * 📌 – The Bunker Hostel, Upper Dharamkot Artwork – @hina_raheja . . More stories and posts to come in the coming days, so make sure to stay tuned to this space 😎 . . . . . . . . . . . . . #HighOnHimalayas #weekendvibes #himachal_diaries #himachalgram #dharamkot #stayonskill #sosmeetup #SOSWeekender #sostribe #EatTravelLiveRepeat #ETLRWithArnav #traveldiaries2019 #nomadnesstribe #nustaharamkhor #indiaphotos #IndiaInFrames #hostelsofindia #hostelworld #tripotocommunity #dharamshaladiaries #googlelocalguides #travel_gram #indiantravelblogger #indiantravelgram #photographers_of_india
That being said, McLeodganj has got something unique to offer to everyone, be it a visit to the Dalai Lama Temple, or doing café hopping and checking out the yummy dishes in different small and quaint cafes spread across McLeodganj.
One other thing I definitely recommend is making your way to Naddi to witness the sunset. Naddi is 30 minutes from McLeodganj, and you can reach Naddi, both by foot, and by cab.
Another point of interest is the St Johns in the Wilderness Church, which is again just a 20 min walk from McLeodganj Main Square.Set amidst deodar forest, and built in neo-Gothic architecture, the St Johns in the Wilderness Church is known for its Belgian stained-glass windows.
While you can always take a cab or an auto, I would personally recommend exploring on foot. Not only will you be experiencing even more, but you’ll also be doing your bit in reducing the pollution, and not adding to the traffic chaos.
While you are in the McLeodganj Main Square, don’t forget to hog on the yummy Momos, being sold by different street hawkers just in front of the Buddhist Monastery.
Also, make sure to head back to The Bunker Hostel, by 8ish in the evening. So that you can chill, unwind and relax, and call it an early night. Because Day 3 of the 3 Day Dharamkot Itinerary starts with a Sunrise Hike to the Flag Point.
Day 3 – Sunrise Hike to Flag Point | Dharamkot Exploring
Start your day early by waking up around 5 AM, and starting the hike to the Flag Point by 5:30. The earlier you start, the more time you will have to enjoy the views of the mighty Dhauladars from the Flag Point; before the sun rises.
Enjoying the golden hour, with the sun rays falling on the ice capped Dhauladars, is one of the most amazing experiences you can get during this 3 Day Dharamkot Itinerary.
Flag point is a viewpoint, with plenty of Tibetan prayer flags fluttering with the wind, overlooking the mighty snowcapped Dhauladars. You won’t find that much of information regarding this point on the internet, and I’ll keep it that way. But don’t worry, The Bunker Hostel will happily help you out with this, and if you have a group, they might even lead you on the hike.
Spend some time admiring the beauty of the place, before making your way back to The Bunker Hostel, in time for breakfast and the pahaadi chai.
What you do the rest of the day, is entirely up to you.
You can choose to just relax and rewind at The Bunker Hostel itself,
You can head out and explore the market of Dharamkot – A hippie Village, dotted with plenty of quaint cafes, and shops selling dreamcatchers and a variety of different souvenirs,
Before heading to Mcleodganj to take the evening bus back to Delhi or Chandigarh. And ending your 3 Day Trip to Dharamkot, with plenty of amazing unique experiences, and making friends at The Bunker Hostel.
PS: If you have some time, you can even learn the basics of playing any musical instrument in the music shops in Dharamkot, where classes start at INR 300 / hour.
Summary – 3 Day Dharamkot Itinerary
Day 1: Check in at The Bunker Hostel | Hike to Secret Waterfall| Chill Out Scenes
Day 2: Exploring McLeodganj– Mini Tibet | Sunset at Naddi
Day 3: Sunrise Hike to Flag Point | Dharamkot Exploring
Alternatively, you can follow this Itinerary if you have 5 days with you!
Summary – 5 Day Dharamkot Itinerary
Day 1– Check in at The Bunker Hostel| Hike to ‘No Name Waterfall’| Chill Out Scenes
Day 2– Exploring McLeodganj – Mini Tibet| Sunset at Naddi
Day 3– Hike to Triund and Camp for the night under the stars (This Triund Trek Guide is all you need to read, if it will be the first time you are planning a trek to Triund)
Day 4– Post Sunrise, hike up to the Snow Line, before making your way back to The Bunker Hostel.
Day 5– Sunrise Hike to Flag Point | Dharamkot Exploring
Where To Eat in and around Dharamkot?
By Ayushi Galundia ( Check out her feed on Instagram > FoodAfaire)
Where to Eat in Mcleodganj?
Jimmy’s Italian Kitchen
Located alongside the busy Mcleodganj-Bhagsu street, this cafe will serve you with few of the best Italian delicacies in the town. In particular, I adore the pizzas they prepare. The interiors are simplistic yet they’ve got a captivating element to them.
Price Range – Rs 500 for 2
Recommendations – Pizza
Tashi Delek is an authentic Tibetan kitchen that only locals might recommend you. It is one of the last few shops located at the end of Mcleod Bhagsu road & near the Lower Bhagsu market entrance. It ain’t that fancy looking café where you would want to sit & chill for hours but if you’re looking forward to some delectable cuisine on your platter, make sure you try this place.
Price Range – Rs. 300 for 2
Recommendations – Veg. Shoga with Tibetan Bread (In Oil)
A book lover wanting to delve deeper into the story while enjoying the breath-taking views will fall in instant love with this café. The seating area is surrounded by books, you can easily pick one & enjoy the refined delicacies they offer.
Price Range – Rs 700 for 2
Recommendations – Pasta & Desserts
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Where to Eat in Upper Dharamkot?
If you haven’t read this article, there are decent chances that you might miss dining at this place. No charming interiors & designs to leave you spellbound but a menu & taste that’ll only let you craving for more. My personal favorite when it comes to multi-cuisine restaurants in the area.
Price Range – Rs 400 for 2
Recommendations – Veg Thaali, Veg Thenchuk, Arrabiata Pasta, Tibetan Style Momos
The Birdhouse Cakery
Light music, exotic smell of cocoa & a view of hikers passing by is what you can expect once you lounge in this little heaven. Anukriti, who bakes here will serve you with one of the best cheesecakes in the area. Be it mornings, noon or evenings, you’ll always find this place packed with travellers.
Price Range – Rs 500 for 2
Recommendations – Lemon Cheesecake
Visit this hidden gem in Upper Dharamkot & I bet you’ll be left wondering how people use their creative minds to design something so unique & budget friendly in the mountains. This café is constructed literally between two giant rocks in the mountains with minimal furniture & décor. That’s exactly the reason that the café features in this list.
Price Range – Rs 350 for 2
Recommendations – Let your heart decide what will suit your stomach: P
Situated in the vicinity of Friend’s Corner, this café attracts a lot of tourists with its simple settings & a limited yet delicious menu. Chai lover? Head to this place right away.
Price Range – Rs 300 for 2
Recommendations – Masala Chai & Aloo Parantha
You’ll find it only if you plan to trek all the way to the Gallu Waterfall. And if you do, please stop here for some time, meet their beautiful bitch Lyca & devour their delicious Aloo Cheese Paranthas & Shakes. The view is perfect and so is the taste & vibe.
Price Range – Rs 300 for 2
Recommendations – Aloo Cheese Parantha
Where to Eat in Lower Dharamkot?
Open Heart Café
Its location is bound to remind you of a king’s positioning in his courtroom. Visit this cutesy little café in the evening hours & enjoy the vibe of the place. Do try the cookies they offer, they’re the best I could find in entire Dharamkot.
Price Range – Rs 400 for 2
Recommendations – Veg Sandwich & Cookies
Cool Talk Café
Owned & operated by a welcoming Bihari guy, this café is my go to place especially for breakfast. They’ve got just the right kind of menu & an even better staff who would go to any extent to ensure that your experience goes well. They’ll even customize the dishes for you. Extremely welcoming & friendly place to chill.
Price Range – Rs 400 for 2
Recommendations – Nutella Sandwich & Aloo Parantha
Now that you’ve got a good idea about How to Reach Dharamkot ? | Where To Stay in Dharamkot? | What To Do In Dharamkot? and Where To Eat in Dharamkot, its time to pack your bags, book your tickets, and head out to Dharamkot – The Hippie Village to experience living #TheBunkerLife for yourself!
If you want to live #TheBunkerLife yourself, head over to TheBunkerHostel.Com and drop in a message via the Contact Us Page. Alternatively, you can directly get in touch with Ashish at +91 90368 53395. Or book via Booking.com.
Address: Bhagsu to Gallu Devi Temple Road, (Near Heena Cafe), village Dharamkot, Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh 176219
Accomodation cost– 450 INR/Bed (In a 6-dorm room)
Disclaimer : No compensation was received for this article, however The Bunker Hostel offered our stay, and the experiences complimentary, as I was part of the Stay on Skill team of skilled travellers #SOSTribe. As always, the opinions on theETLRblog.com are (and always will be) my own!
And if you like reading the content I create and curate, I will be really thankful if you could
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